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September 18, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-18

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4A - Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

With four injured starters,
Hoke mum on injuries

By GREG GARNO that freshmar
ManagingSports Editor Jabrill Peppers
sophomore sa
Brady Hoke continues to Clark, who b
deflect questions regarding against the Red
the Michigan football team's figure to fill in.
injuries: And Hoke ha
But today, NOTEBOOK on the statusc

TERESA MATHEW/Daily
Replacing Nkem Ezurike has been hard, but forwardAni Sarkisian (right) has stepped up with four goals in four games.
Sar kisian shines in B Ten

By SHAWN HEROOR
For the Daily
Big Ten coaches watched
Nkem Ezurike bully defenses
for four years and were glad to
see Michigan's all-time leading
scorer graduate.
Unfortunately for conference
foes, they may have a new
headache to deal with on the
Michigan women's soccer team:
redshirt freshman forward Ani
Sarkisian.
Sarkisian, a transfer. from
Florida State, introduced herself
to the Big Ten with three goals
in a pair of Wolverine victories
last weekend. After netting her
first on Friday against Minnesota,
Sarkisian added a pair of goals
against the ninth-ranked Badgers
on Sunday, scoring the decisive
goal with only one second left in
the match.
The red-hot weekend for the
freshman helped her garner
Big Ten Offensive Player of
the Week and Freshman of the
Week honors.
Following a decorated high

school career, Sarkisian joined
the heralded Seminole program,
but spent the 2013 season on the
bench for a talented Florida State
squad. Sarkisian then decided
she wanted a change, making
the jump to the Wolverines this
summer.
"I've never met a group so
family-oriented," Sarkisian said.
" I came right in and fit right in.
... Everything about the program,
the teammates, the coaches, the
academics, everything was just
perfect for me."
After a slow start to the season,
in which she failed to register
a goal in the first four games,
Sarkisian has caught fire during
Michigan's recent four-game
winning streak. She scored four
times to go along with four assists
for the Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten,
6-2 overall). Most of her goals
have been simple tap-ins and one-
time shots, a result of Sarkisian
putting herself in the right spot at
the righttime.
Michigan coach Greg Ryan
credits Sarkisian's poacher
mentality as the reason for her

recent outburst.
"She's been making hard runs
to the ball, getting herself open
in dangerous positions for us to
get her the ball," Ryan said. "She's
really performed well in every
game."
Ryan admitted there was a
learning curve for the freshman
as she transitioned from different
schools, teammates and a new
system. Sarkisian is one of
several new starters the team has
introduced after losing the core of
last season's Elite Eight squad.
"She is just learning like
everyone else," Ryan said. "We're
so young, we're just learning the
basics of playing with each other.
We're just lackingthat chemistry.
"For Ani to play so well so early
for us is huge for our growth."
Sarkisian's big weekend
helped vault Michigan to the
top of the conference standings,
where they sit tied with Iowa
and Penn State. With the bulk
of the Big Ten season remaining,
conference opponents will get no
reprieve from the Wolverines'
relentless attack.

reporters
didn't even have to ask to get
the response. It took all of 37
seconds before he reiterated his
stance in his opening statement
at his Wednesday press
conference.
"We're notgoingtotalkabout
injuries, and I might as well
bring that up now," Hoke said.
"And some of that is because
you can say something and then
you're wrong. Everybody heals
a bit differently.
And then the other thing is,
for our kids, I want to make
sure that we're doing a good job
protecting them."
Hoke offered up little about
who would fill in for his four
injuredstarters, includingthree
on a depleted defense that will
face a potent passing offense
against Utah this weekend.
Cornerback Raymon Taylor,
safety Jarrod Wilson and
linebacker Desmond Morgan
all missed last weekend's game
vs. Miami (Ohio).
Taylor and Wilson both
bring experience that will be
essential to stopping Utah
quarterback Travis Wilson -
currently ranked second in the
country in passing efficiency.
Hoke pointed to his depth
chart for who would replace
the duo, though the depth
chart currently lists the pair
at the top of their respective
positions.
Should Taylor and Wilson be
unable to play though, it's likely

receiver Devin F
he said, "we'll
Saturday's game
Funchess was
without a boo
week.
TEXAS-SIZE
MATCHUP: Ke
pattern of sched
decade in adva
announced it wi
and-home
with Texas
in 2024 and
2027 on
Wednesday.
The
Wolverines
are set - to
host the first
game in 2024
and then
will travel to
Austin, Texas.
Discussions
regarding the
matchup were fi
week ago by oran
"A matchu
magnitude d
along all that of
it does it's sp
programs andt
that support ea
Hoke said in a st
also is a specia
fans of college
anticipate great
the first contestp
the two program
The teams h
once, last in t
Bowl, which Te

n cornerback last-second field goal, 38-37.
and redshirt Michigan has also scheduled
afety Jeremy home-and-homes with
oth saw time Washington and Virginia Tech
Hawks, would in 2020-21, UCLA in 2022-23
and Oklahoma in 2025-26.
sn't elaborated APPEAL DENIED: The
of junior wide NCAA has denied running
Funchess since back Ty Isaac's appeal to play
see" following football this fall, according to
. Hoke.
s seen walking Isaac, who transferred from
t earlier this USC to be closer to his ailing
mother, attempted to use the
ED NCAA's hardship waiver to
eping with the play immediately this season.
duling games a Under the rule, Isaac needed
nce, Michigan to attend a school within a
ill play a home- 100-mile radius of his home in
Shorewood,
Illinois.
The
"I want to make Wolverines
appealed
sure we're the original
request in
doing a good August, but
.Hoke said,
job protecting "it didn't go
1 through" this
(players)." month.
That leaves
Isaac, a
former five-
irst reported a star recruit, with three years
ngebloods.com. of eligibility beginning next
p of this season.
oesn't come Last season he rushed for
ften, and when 236 yards in 14 games, and is
ecial for both now being used on the scout
the great fans team, according to Hoke.
ch institution," "He's handled it great,"
atement. "This Hoke said. "He had a great
1 series for all day yesterday. I think from
football, and I an attitude standpoint and
games just like everythinghe's been awesome."
played between
is."
ave met only We're always sportsing
he 2005 Rose Check MichigasDaily.comto see
xas won on a what otherverbs we make u

Freshmen, defense adjust

Wolverines look to
regain focus after loss

By JEREMY SUMMITT
Daily Sports Editor
The games may have finished,
but hockey never truly left Ann
Arbor.
While many students moved
out of residence halls and
apartments, for
the returning NOTEBOOK
players and
incoming freshmen of the
Michigan hockey team, Yost Ice
Arena remained a second home
during the offseason months.
"Alotofourguys stayed around
for the summer, so we not only
got some good workouts in but
developed some team cohesion
early on," said junior forward
Andrew Copp. "I think all of the
freshmenwere here atsome point
this summer."
Copp, who was voted team
captain by his teammates and
coaches at the conclusion of last
season has helped lead summer
and preseason workouts alongside
assistant captains, senior forward
Zach Hyman and sophomore
forward JT Compher. Due to
NCAA regulations, Michigan
coach Red Berenson and the rest
of his coaching staff are unable
to be on the ice with the team for
more than 30 minutes during each
practice until Oct. 3, only one day
before Michigan's first regular-
seasongame.
That's left much of the
responsibility to the trio of
captains. Amidst the role
of mentoring another large
recruiting class, Copp, Hyman,
and Compher had the added
pressure of guiding Michigan
back to the NCAA Tournament
for the firsttime since 2012.
"Andrew's been through it
before as an assistant captain
and I think he has a good feel for
the team," Berenson said. "Zach
Hyman is a really good role model
for this team, and then JT is the
young blood on that group and
he's obviously a good young role
model and he's into it big time."
Freshmen Frenzy: After the
Wolverine coaching staff brought
in a nine-member freshman class
last season, it nearly replicated

that mark with an eight-player
class for the upcoming campaign.
The notable freshmen that
Berenson expects to make
an immediate impact include
forward Dylan . Larkin and
defenseman Zach Werenski.
Larkin and Werenski are
roommates this year, and
Werenski claims "their basically
the same person." In some sense,
he's correct.
Both were the two most
highly sought-after recruits.
Larkin produced a standout
season in 2013-14 with the U-18-
United States National Team
Development Program, recording
56 points (31 goals, 25 assists).
He was drafted 15th overall by
the Detroit Red Wings in this
summer's NHL draft.
"Dylan Larkin is really good,"
Copp said with a wide grin. "He's
got great hockey instincts, he's
good with
the puck and
he's got some
speed." "He's a
Meanwhile,
2014 has matur
already been his
a busy year
for Werenski. indi
As a 17-year
old, he spent _
his summer in
school taking
five classes so he could graduate
a year early after committing to
Michigan.AsamemberoftheU-17
U.S. NTDP, Werenski finished
with 27 points (seven goals, 20
assists) in 47 games last year.
According to the 2014-15 NHL
CSS Futures North American
List, he's considered one of the
top draft-eligible defensemen for
the upcoming NHL draft.
"He bit off a lot when he made
the decision to come in early,"
Berenson said. "He just turned 17
around April or May, and he's a lot
more mature than his age would
indicate. He's catching up quick.
He's not out of place in any of the
workouts."
Unknown D-Zone: Werenski
has made such great strides in
minimal time that Berenson has
firmly stated the youngster should

find his way into the top-two
defensive pairings this season.
Sophomores Michael Downing
and Kevin Lohan figure to place
among the top-four defensemen,
as well.
Similar to the beginning of last
season, Berenson has expressed
his pleasure with the depth of
his defensive corps. But, then
again, by the end of the 2013-14
season, the Wolverines' defense
had surrendered an average of
2.54 goals per game, much to the
disappointment of Berenson and
his staff. So whether or not his
assessment will hold true remains
to be seen.
"Last year, I thought we were
deep on defense and that didn't
hold up," Berenson said. "The
team didn't live up to some of
our expectations. Defensively, I
can go, 'Oh we were better,' but
defensively, we were still short."
With a full
season under
the belts of
lot more Downing
and Lohan,
e than Berenson's
would optimism isn't a
w u d surprise. More
Bate." so, last year's
promising
play of senior
Andrew
Sinelli should
provide a necessary boost to what
became a depleted defensive unit.
Berenson confirmed Tuesdaythat
Sinelli has officially made the
full transition from his natural
forward position to a starting
defenseman.
,"Sinelli, the way he played at
the end of last year, he's going to
help our defense," Berenson said.
"He's the guy that can hopefully
replace some of Mac Bennett's
puck carrying and speed on D."
If Sinelli can fill such big skates,
especially in both ends of the
rink, the defense should be close
to where it was last season. And
if 17-year old phenom Werenski
can show flashes of greatness
and provide a reliable option on
the top-two defensive pairings,
Berenson's defensive core will
likely be upgraded.

E
I

By JASON STEINMAN
For the Daily
The Michigan men's soccer
team may have lost its focus ina
1-0 loss to Bowling Green (5-1)
on Tuesday, overlooking a team
that dropped its first game last
week.
Now, the Wolverines will
have to regain that focus
before they play a team that
also suffered its first loss of the
season last week when it travels
to Northwestern.
"Sometimes you think about
things a little bit too much,"
said Michigan coach Chaka
Daley, "and you might put
yourself ahead of where you
are."
The season is still young,
but as Michigan sits fifth i
the conference (0-1 Big Ten,
1-3-1 overall), this weekend'
game could prove to be pivotal.
It marks Michigan's second
away game and second Big Ten
matchup of the season.
"There's still plenty to play
for, both out of conference an
in the Big Ten," Daley said.
"It's not the end of the season.
I think we've demonstrated
that we can compete against
some of the better teams and I
think we've demonstrated that
sometimes we're inconsistent."
Contributing to the slow
start could be the great
deal of change the team has
undergone. The Wolverines
have six new freshmen, made
a tactical switch to a 4-4-2
formation in place of the old
4-3-3, and more recently, a
intriguing goalkeeping battle
has been brewing.
Freshman goalie Evan Louro
got the nod over fifth-yea
senior Adam Grinwis for his
third start of the season against
the Falcons. Though his tea
lost, Louro let up only one goal
and made some exceptional
saves to keep the Wolverines i
the game.

Daley was unwilling to name
a starter for the Northwestern
game, but his decision may not
have big implications for the
rest of the season.
"We have two excellent
goalkeepers," Daley said.
"Whichever goalkeeper we feel
is best for a particular game,
they're both going to be ready,
so we'll see how that goes."
The final result wasn't
representative of the game,
though, as Michigan outplayed
Bowling Green for most of the
match.
Despite outshooting their
opponents, 20-10, dominating
possession and ceding very few
quality chances, the Wolverines
couldn't stick one in the back
of the net. It cost them dearly,

as Bowling Green was able to
capitalize on a counterattack
in the 17th minute, which
ultimately proved to be the
deciding goal.
Even in the face of this
difficult loss, Daley held
steadfast to his belief that
chemistry and victories will
come with time.
"This is a program that we're
building for the long term.
It's not just for tomorrow or
just for today versus Bowling
Green," Daley said. "We have
to continue to work, be positive
and continue to find solutions."
The Wolverines have five
days to do just that, and on
Sunday, Daley will find out
just how resilient his Michigan
team is.

John U. Bacon, Honors Guest Speaker, Honors alum '86,
colehrate d author and collene inst ruetor

It

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